Review: His Royal Secret by Lilah Pace

Review: His Royal Secret by Lilah PaceHis Royal Secret by Lilah Pace
Series: His Royal Secret #1
Published by Berkley July 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Asking For It
Amazon US

James, the handsome, cosmopolitan Prince of Wales, is used to being in the public eye. But he's keeping a king-sized secret...James, next in line for the throne, is gay.

He’s been able to hide his sexual orientation with the help of his best friend and beard, Lady Cassandra. Sometimes he feels like a coward for not coming out, but he daren’t risk losing the crown. If he did, the succession would fall on his deeply troubled younger sister, Princess Amelia. To protect her, James is willing to live a lie.

While on holiday, he meets Benjamin Dahan—a rugged international reporter with a globe-trotting, unattached life—who catches far more than James's eye. And when Ben is transferred to London, it seems fate may finally be smiling on James.

But what began as a torrid fling grows into something far more intimate and powerful. Soon James will have decide who he is, what he wants from life and love, and what he’s willing to sacrifice for the truth...

I was pretty excited to see a new title pop up from the elusive Lilah Pace. It being a male/male romance in a British royalty setting only made it more appealing.

Prince James is a closeted gay man. He’s next in line for the thrown, second only to an ailing king. Gay marriage is new to the country and unheard of in the royal family. Great Britain has many political ties to countries who still very much look down upon homosexuals, and if he forfeits the crown – it would go to his younger sister who has far more deep seeded issues.  James does not have the freedom of living his life with the freedom he craves.

Ben, a respected journalist, doesn’t do relationships. He’s not looking for the ties that bind, he’s looking for the next exiting place to set down his suitcase for a few years. An unexpected encounter with the Prince starts a relationship that benefits them both.  No ties, no expectations of a future. Just clandestine sexual encounters for mutual fulfillment.

Until those pesky things called feelings get in the way, as they do.  But love or not, it’s not a simple thing for the Prince to come out…or stay closeted.

All of that sounds like it could be exiting, yes? I agree. Except the book really wasn’t all that exciting. It keeps a slow and steady pace from start to finish. There were a few well placed, steamy sex scenes – but those weren’t even enough to keep my nose buried in the book.

If you, like me, were a big fan of the Asking for It series, I’d caution you not to expect His Royal Secret to be as explicit. It’s not. In fact, there is quite a bit of more fade to black scenes. I don’t oppose those, so that’s not where my lack of interest stems. I actually think those worked well with the type of people James and Ben are.  Neither of them is all that explicit of a character. 

I think my issues with the book come more from the lack of emotion from either James or Ben. James is in an impossible situation but he felt very two dimensional throughout it all. And Ben, well, he’s got some mysterious ex-lover that seems to cause him strife but it too lacked depth.

This one just wasn’t my cup of tea.

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.

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